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Join a Virtuous Cycle of Joy and Success this December

Posted by Julia Stewart

upward cycle

How do you define success? More money? Joy? Time? Love?

Whatever success means to you, would you like more of it? Most of us would and there is an inspiring approach that will help you, help others around you, and creates a virtuous cycle for everyone concerned.

As this difficult year comes to a close and as most cultures celebrate important holidays, now is the perfect time to co-create this virtuous cycle. Read on for how you can join in for free...

What if virtually all forms of success were related to smarter giving? They may be according to research by Adam Grant and others. Here are a few ways smarter giving benefits you:

  • Givers are more successful negotiators.
  • Givers strengthen their relationships.
  • Givers experience fulfillment.
  • Givers spark creativity and innovation.
  • Givers' clients express more satisfaction.
  • Givers inspire others to give.
  • Givers receive more in return.
  • Givers experience more joy.
  • Givers inspire joy in others.

Of course, givers can be taken advantage of, but there are smart ways to reduce or eliminate being taken.

Come learn how to be a smart giver this holiday season and help us establish a virtuous cycle of giving. It is free to join and could be the inspiration that makes 2020 one of your very best years.

Fully Alive with Positive Psychology (Giving Edition) starts this Wednesday, December 2nd, for four weeks, 7-8 PM EST. It's a live webinar with me, Julia Stewart that is free to join, but seating is limited so please only join if you will attend. No recordings will be sent out, because all of the value is in the attendance of this live reciprocity circle.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to share an amazing experience. Sign up today and mark your calendar!

Attend Free Fully Alive for Joy and Success

Topics: Free, coaching success, successful business, personal development, Positive Psychology, Boundaries, setting boundaries, Fully Alive, personal growth, self care

The Vow: How it Is and Is NOT Like Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Personal Development and Executive Success Depositphotos_125942550_l-2015-1

Like many coaches, I am watching with horror the documentary series, The Vow, on HBO.

The Vow is about a personal development multi-level-marketing company called, Nxivm (pronounced, aptly enough, like the heartburn medication, Nexium) that culminates in incredible levels of abuse toward its members. Long story short, top level members of this company, most notably the founder, Keith Raniere, who claims to be one of the smartest geniuses in the world and likes to be called, Vanguard, have been charged and/or convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering, and other outrageous deeds.

[UPDATE: Raniere was convicted on all charges and, on October 27th, 2020, was sentenced to life in prison.]

Personal development is supposed to help people grow and be their best, so how the hell did this happen???

Early videos of Nxivm depict seminars that look like most personal development events, which is to say, awesome. In fact, several details made me squirm in my seat throughout the first episode because I had had similar experiences.

Then I started watching from a different angle: How could people avoid getting sucked into something that is this wonderful on the surface but evil underneath?

The New York Times broke the story about Nxivm a few years ago. I'm a former New Yorker and still read the Times. Occasionally, I would see a story about this company called, Nxivm, but mostly about what went wrong at the end and the resulting trial. It included stories about a giant financial pyramid scheme, which was bad enough, but it culminated in a mysterious private order of sex slaves who were branded with Raniere's initials! Their "masters" controlled how much they could eat, whether they could sleep, and blackmailed them into submission. One woman was punished by being locked in a room for 700 days!

You'd have to be crazy or stupid to get hooked into this, right?

“It’s easy for someone sitting in the comfort of their home to say: ‘She’s stupid. That would never happen to me.’ But it happens to people every day,” said Neil L. Glazer, the plaintiffs’ lead lawyer. “Even if somebody is not holding a gun to their heads, it doesn’t mean they can leave whenever they want.” - NYTimes

Here's what creeped me out when I started watching The Vow. First, the guy who shot most of the footage is someone I met fifteen years ago at a coaching conference, Mark Vicente. He had been a speaker and sat across from me at a dinner. He worked his way up nearly to the top of Nxivm over twelve years. My first thought was, "That guy was involved with THIS??" That felt like a close brush with the sordid story I'd been reading about for years. I'm happy to say, Vicente was one of the people who helped break Nxivm in the end.

Then I watched footage of Nxivm's basic training known as the Executive Success Program (ESP). It took me back to my early years as a coach, attending coaching conferences that were fun and exciting, filled with happy people smiling, laughing, talking, jumping for joy, and hugging each other. People at Nxivm became best friends for life, just like I did with the coaches I met at seminars and conferences. It all seemed wonderful.

People who graduated from ESP were apparently screened before they were invited up to the next level: Coaches. Ugh. Even Raniere sometimes called himself a coach. Unfortunately, because coaching is unregulated, anyone can call him/herself a coach even if they are con men. Up until Nxivm, the worst stories I've heard about fake coaches who are really con artists are about financial abuse. That can be devastating enough but Nxivm leaders also committed crimes that were shockingly depraved.

But how did this lead to sex slavery and why was I unscathed when I started out in a similar manner?

  • My first thought was that I could see through that stuff. Ha! Read the quote by attorney Glazer, above. It happens all the time, even to smart people.
  • Second, with gratitude, I realized I had fallen in, from the start, with people who were basically good, welling meaning, and ethical. It could have gone differently, though.
  • Finally, I recognized three red flags that could warn off anyone from going down the rabbit hole with people who mean to exploit or abuse them:
  1. Nxivm told its trainees, from the start, to ignore their own inner wisdom and adopt only Nxivm's explanations. That robbed students of potential insights behind their doubts, gut feelings, and intuition, which should have protected them from being brainwashed. Nxivm's explanation was that prior conditioning can keep people stuck, which is true, but you cannot instantly replace it with something else and anyone who tells you to ignore it is potentially manipulating you. This has been a problem at least for the past 2,500 years when the Buddha instructed his students to never accept his teachings without first confirming their verity by going within. He was a great teacher because he understood that everyone has access to the truth but may ignore it if they think they have found someone who knows more than they do. Good coaches always defer to their clients' inner wisdom. Run from a coach or personal development teacher who tells you to ignore your inner truth.
  2. Nxivm discouraged self care. A hallmark of many cult-like organizations is that they limit sleep, food, bathroom breaks, etc. People become overwhelmed and depleted. Their bodies feel like they are surviving under emergency circumstances and the people who seem to have the power over what to think, when to sleep, and how much to eat, can control almost anything. Good self care is a basic pillar of effective coaching. People often deny themselves what they need because they think they have too much to do and too little time. Often, when they give their bodies what they need, everything else gets easier and people grow and succeed naturally.
  3. Nxivm blackmailed its members into silence and submission. They required "collateral" in order to share "advanced secrets" with members. This collateral took the form of nude photos, secrets that were potentially humiliating if they were ever revealed, and even deeds to members' houses. Ethical coaches will keep your information secret because they are members of professional organizations and take an ethical pledge to do so. And, I'd like to think, most of us would keep your information secret because that is who we are. If anyone tries to blackmail you, go to the police.

I could keep going, but I encourage you to watch The Vow and make your own conclusions. Do explore personal development but practice good self-care and defer to your own inner wisdom.

Thomas Leonard was the founder of the coaching profession. He taught his own version of personal development, including the 28 Principles of Attraction. Check it out, in his own words, for free by signing up for this 10-week eCourse. It's safe. Have fun!

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

 

Topics: Coaches, Thomas Leonard, Attraction Principles, personal development

Can Evidence-Based Coaching Include Spirituality?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Positive Psychology - Neuroscience - Spirituality Model

At School of Coaching Mastery, we specialize in evidence-based positive-psychology and neuroscience coaching.

But what about spirituality? It's the backbone of early coaching technology. Can we still include it?

One of the strengths of early coaching was that it wasn't constrained by western scientific notions of reality. It embraced, among other things, the notion that what we think about tends to show up in our lives, an idea that is confirmed by Barbara Fredrickson's Broaden and Build Theory, as well as some neuroscience findings. That freedom was a strength for coaching that allowed coaches to creatively try new techniques that appeared to be quite effective.

Later on, researchers began studying some of these new techniques and found that many were indeed effective.

But that doesn't mean anything goes in coaching. Nor does it mean we can only use tools that have already been sanctioned by science.

As neuro-psychologist and pioneer of interpersonal neurobiology, Dan Siegel has said,

"We must be informed by science but not constrained by it."

By this he means non-science sources of wisdom can be useful in assisting growth in clients. So yes, spirituality, which I define as any perspective that takes us beyond our small ego-based thinking for greater functioning, does inform effective coaching. In fact, some would argue, the ability to accommodate rational evidence-based thinking while remaining open to transformative experiences that science cannot yet explain, is an advancement of consciousness. Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

In fact, spiritual wisdom can move us upwards beyond what Abraham Maslow identified as self-actualization toward self-transcendence (this last concept is often attributed to Viktor Frankl).

This doesn't mean you should impose your own spiritual beliefs on your clients. Rather, step into their beliefs and leverage them to move the client forward. Where their previous beliefs hold them back, offer reframes that may be useful and leave it to the client to embrace these new ways of thinking, or not.

Again, this requires an openness that most don't posses, which is why personal development and spiritual practice are often a must to develop great coaching.

Curious how new ways of thinking can help you grow and reach your goals? Learn non-science concepts taught by the Father of Professional Coaching, Thomas Leonard...

 

Explore Thomas Leonard's 28 Principles of Attraction in this free eCourse:

 

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

 

Topics: Thomas Leonard, Barbara L Fredrickson, Attraction Principles, personal development, Positive Psychology, coaching with neuroscience, spirituality

Is Neuroplasticity Over Hyped?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Neuroplasticity_brain_to_brain

Neuroplasticity training programs are popping up everywhere.

They make a pretty grand promise: That by just learning some easy tools, you can physically change your brain and therefore your behavior, your thoughts, your emotions, and you can even eliminate your addictions and habits. Wow! Who doesn't want permanent change like that?

But how do you know if they deliver?

And even if they do deliver, are there any unforeseen side effects? And how long before the effects take place? Days, months, decades? Can you cross-train your brain by practicing one activity and see then see improvements in another?

And do you really want a stranger tinkering with your brain?

These are questions I asked myself and then dug into research on the topic when I started designing the Certified Neuroscience Coach Program, because for a while, we called it the Certified Neuroplasticity Coach Program.

Bottom line: In coaching, it's the outcome that matters, the flourishing life or career that the client enjoys as a result of the coaching. That outcomes is generally due to changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which themselves are the result of changes in the brain. Brain change matters but outcomes matter most.

Neuroplasticity isn't even the point.

It's an intriguingly trendy name for a phenomenon that most neuroscientists were sure didn't exist until the 1990's when they discovered that the brain continues to change in adulthood, that in addition to new connections forming between neurons, new neurons actually form, as well. The discovery of neuroplasticity launched a whole new focus on personal development.

If you own an fMRI machine and are licensed to use it, perhaps you can promise to change your clients' brains in measurable ways and prove it. Otherwise, better to focus on the outcomes of neuroplasticity. And keep updating your knowledge, because there are downsides to brain change and questions about "dosage". For example:

  • The story of London cab drivers, who develop larger hippocampi by memorizing London’s 25,000 streets, is well known. Less well known is that the process of memorization undergone by these cabbies appears to have decreased other forms of memory, with resulting atrophy of corresponding brain regions. Neuroscientists have found evidence that there’s a trade-off, but they just don’t know for sure.
  • The story that brain plasticity trainings, such as Lumosity, don’t work, is also well known. But there are other brain-training programs by reputable scientists that still claim you can make sustainable changes to you brain. Are they right? It's hard to know without solid research evidence and that's not always available.
  • The recent book, Altered Traits, by Dan Goleman and Richie Davidson, is about how meditation changes the brain, but much of it cautions about over-promising because too much is still unknown. For example, you may know that meditation appears to make lasting changes the brain, but most of those findings have been based on people, such as Buddhist monks, who have been meditating several hours per day for decades. The problem is that, although meditation makes immediate changes, they tend to wear off quickly, and no one knows yet whether there is a reasonable amount that “regular people” can do to make lasting change.

So far, programs that promise neuroplasticity appear to over-promise.

On the other hand, neuroscience tools can be highly effective in coaching and, if you aren't using them yet, you probably need to start, especially if your clients seek lower stress levels, better focus, greater resilience, goal achievement and more because neuroscience tools and practices do appear highly effective in achieving desirable outcomes. Whether they also cause growth inside the brain, itself, is interesting but beside the point.

Clients want better outcomes not bigger brains.

If you're curious about using neuroscience tools and practices with your client, check out the courses included in the Certified Neuroscience Coach Program. Take a few course or take the entire program and upgrade your coaching with the latest tools. Download additional information by clicking below:

 

Learn More About Neuroscience Coaching Here

Topics: psychotherapy, personal development, coaching with neuroscience, Neuroplasticity, Certified Neuroplasiticty Coach, certified neuroscience coach

Coaching Tip: Enlightenment Can Be Bad For You

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching TipHow do coaching, personal development and spirituality cause dysfunction?

If you think coaching, personal development programs and spirituality are always good, think again. The tools that coaches use and that personal development gurus and spiritual teachers also may employ are usually great when used in the right situations by people who are ready for them. Try using most of those tools in every situation, though, and you can get yourself in a whole lot of trouble.

Which tools am I talking about? Well, many. But here are a couple of examples that are closely related to each other:

  • Seeing the perfection in every situation
  • Eliminating the ego 

I've coached a lot of people who were 'highly evolved'. They were very spiritual and always saw the beauty, opportunity, learning, etc. in everything and rarely let their egos get in the way.

Their lives were a mess. And they were tough to coach, because they felt good and they thought they were supposed to think that way. People who feel good aren't motivated to change. People who feel good when their lives are a mess are in some ways a little bit crazy (not a diagnosis, just an observation).

Come to think of it, I passed through this stage years ago when I first started meditating. Suddenly, things that used to bother, hurt, or anger me, didn't anymore. It was very freeing. It felt good. I loved it.

And my life started falling apart. Why? I'd lost my boundaries. I got into dysfunctional relationships, because my former warning system, pain, had shut down. I was very forgiving, had but lost the ability to say, 'Hey, this is not okay with me.' Fortunately, I learned to grow past my 'enlightenment'.

Coaches who have drunk too much of the Coaching Cool-aid, sometimes fall for this. They will quickly reframe every challenge as an opportunity. Or they will coach everybody they meet, as if their own needs never even matter. They lose critical skills when they try to show up 'like a coach' in every situation (and they're less effective as coaches).

Skills like:

  • Discernment
  • Engagement
  • Commitment

Procrastination, complacency, and cluelessness may set in. Because after all, everything's great, right? So there's no need to make changes. People may start to avoid them. Relationships, careers, health, and finances begin to fall apart. But all the while, they feel GOOD, because they're stoned on their own endorphins. And like all opiate addicts, they've lost the ability to notice and respond to their environments. Not pretty.

Positive psychology researcher, Barbara Fredrickson, says too much positivity gets us in trouble. People tend to do best when they experience positive thoughts and feelings about 75-90% of the time. Anymore than that and they stop  heeding warning signs, miss important details, become over-confident, and lose credibility with others. They may spiral into failure and despair, as a result. That's not what you want for yourself or your clients.

In addition, by choosing in advance to respond to everything in the same way, they are limiting possibilities, rather than expanding them.

Worse yet, they may create shadow behaviors that are acted out out unconsciously. 'No ego' becomes arrogance ('I'm more enlightened than you!'). 'Seeing the perfection' becomes passive aggression (Got a problem? 'Just see the perfection in it, or else you're not 'woke'.)

One of the many things I value about Zen Master Genpo Roshi's teachings is that he takes this problem head on. He calls this level of enlightenment dysfunctional and says a zen  master's job is to push you through this stage as quickly as possible. Because otherwise you can get profoundly stuck. Feeling good all the time is very, very seductive.

Not many teachers even recognize this problem. In fact, some of them are actually stuck here, themselves. Many teach that this stage is desirable. Don't get sucked in by that.

Remember the saying, 'When you're going through Hell, keep going'? Well the great thing about Hell is that it feels so awful you want to keep going.

The awful thing about Enlightenment is that it feels so good, you want to stay there. And as soon as you try to hold on to it , you're not enlightened anymore. Delusion is enlightenment's shadow. Keep going.

When you fully engage with life, experiencing pain, resistance and yes, even your ego, you are fully alive, highly functional and - you're enlightened in a mature way. Then you've got the makings of a great coach. Yes, get your ego out of the way and see the perfection when you're coaching your clients. That's your job and it's a huge value to the people you coach. But when you're not coaching, be fully human.

And keep going.

Fully Alive Personal Development with Positive Psychology is a free extra program that's included with the Certified Positive Psychology Coach® Program. Learn more about it here:

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

Topics: Coaching, Barbara L Fredrickson, ENVIRONMENT, Coaching Tip, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Genpo Roshi, personal development, Positive Psychology, spirituality, Fully Alive, positive psychology coach, enlightenment

How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Life Coach?

Posted by Julia Stewart

How long does it take to become a life coachThis question gets asked a lot online, in one form or another: "How long does it take to become a life coach?"

Here are answers...

And that makes sense, because it's an important question to ask if you're thinking about becoming a business or life coach, but it probably means different things to different people.

It might mean:

  • How to become a life coach?
  • What are the best ways to learn to coach?
  • How many years of school are needed to become a coach?
  • How to make money as a coach?
  • How long does it take to get a full coaching practice?
  • How long does it take to become a certified coach?
  • How long does it take to achieve coaching success?
  • How long does it take to become a masterful coach?

Each of these questions has a different answer and every coach has a different experience, but here are a few basics, if you're wondering about becoming a coach.

The standard length of time for coach training is about two years. There are programs of varying quality that claim to do it faster, but...

Here's what you need to know: How quickly you learn the skills you need to become a successful coach depends on your level of personal development and how much time you spend actually coaching. If you haven't done your personal development work (It takes a lot more than just reading some self-help books), your "stuff" will get in the way and you will learn more slowly. And in addition to personal development, you need to be coaching everyday in order to become a good coach.

How long it takes for you to make a living as a coach, depends on how much money you need to live on and how skilled you are at building a business. 

Here's what you need to know: No business is profitable on Day One, so if you need money right away, get a part-time job to supplement your coaching income, at least for a while. That extra job will be part of your support system that carries you to success. Also, most people cut living expenses to a minimum, while they're building a new business. It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to support yourself with your coaching business and with an extra income and low expenses, you'll avoid the kind of desperation that sends potential clients running. The result? You'll be able to support yourself sooner with coaching.

The length of time it takes to get a full coaching practice is anywhere from three months to five years.  

Here's what you need to know: Most coaches take at least several months to fill a coaching practice, even with an effective strategy like Coach 100.  Without an effective strategy, it can take several years - or never. If you're new to running your own business, or you don't understand marketing and sales, or worse yet, you think marketing and sales are slimy, it will take you longer than if you have a good business background. Make sure your coach training gives you the business skills you need to be successful with your coaching business and if you're uncomfortable with marketing and sales, work with a mentor coach, who can help you develop an authentic approach to building coaching success.

How long it takes to become a certified coach, depends on the certification and how diligently you work toward it.

Here's what you need to know: Coach training programs that claim to train and certify you in a few hours, or even a few days, are probably not respectable. The most recognized certifying organization is the ICF. Make sure your training is approved by that organization and know that most coaches take a several months to several years to get certified.

You won't be surprised when I tell you that how long it takes to become good at coaching depends a lot on the coach.

Here's what you need to know: There are many factors that go into the quality of an individual coach's skill. They include, your aptitude for coaching, your communication skills, your level of personal development, your faith in the coaching process, the quality and amount of coach training you've had, the amount of time you have actually spent coaching, whether or not you're getting feedback on your coaching, etc. But one thing is clear: The sooner you start, the sooner you'll master the skills you need to build a successful business and start transforming lives. What are you waiting for?

Want more information on how to become a coach? Get the free eBook, Become a Coach, below:

Get a free Become a Coach eBook here.

 

Topics: coaching business, mentor coach, coach training, become a coach, Coach 100, make a living as a coach, personal development, how long does it take to become a coach

New Coaching Niche: Longevity Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

There are almost as many coaching specialties and niches as there are professional coaches and longevity coaching is a niche with legs.

What does a longevity coach do? This is lifestyle or personal development coaching with a focus on the lifestyle choices that support a longer life. Perhaps even more importantly, a longevity coach can help clients make choices that lead to greater freedom and happiness in old age.

In addition to coaching around diet, exercise, relationships and stress reduction, don't forget the importance of financial planning for happier senior years. Speaking of which, to coach in these areas, you really need some expertise. For both ethical and legal reasons, you need to be qualified to advise clients on physical and mental health, the law, and on finance.

Curious what it takes to live to be 100 years old? See the infographic  from howtobecome.org below. Perhaps Centenarian Coach will be the next big niche!

Becoming a longevity coach


Thinking about becoming a coach?

LEARN ABOUT JUST IN TIME COACH TRAINING

Topics: Coaching, professional coaching, become a coach, Coaches, coach, personal development

Seven Amazing Life Coach Lessons Learned From Oprah's Lifeclass

Posted by Julia Stewart

Life CoachI became a Life Coach because of Oprah.

Yup, that's how much an influence she's been on my life. I first got fired up to become a coach, while watching Oprah do a series with Life Coach, Cheryl Richardson, twelve years ago. Now I'm training other folks who are equally fired up, to become coaches, themselves. Thank you, Oprah!

Last Monday, I saw Oprah live at the premiere of her Lifeclass Tour. You might wonder why I waited 'til now to go see Oprah live. All I can say is, I won the ticket lottery for the world premiere of her Lifeclass Tour here in St. Louis and boy was I excited! Here's what I took away from this amazing adventure...

LESSON 1: Know When to Break the Rules. Moments before leaving my house in Washington County, I called my friend, Career Coach, Joanne Waldman, PCC, for some last-minute directions to her house, more than an hour away. Joanne, who was accompanying me to Lifeclass, mentioned that the rules said we were supposed to bring small handbags, not gigant-o bags, like the one I was planning to bring (Oprah likes her audience to look great on camera, so wear bright colors and keep your little bag under your seat).

No problem! I have a huge collection of cute little bags and I quickly found one just big enough for my wallet and cell phone. I got to Joanne's house right on time, despite some crazy road construction and it was an absolutely gorgeous day. We were psyched to be seeing Oprah in just two more hours and were about to get some lunch on the way when...

Holy Crap! I left our Lifeclass tickets in my big bag at home! (That's life with ADD.) If only...oh God! But it was too late. No tickets, no admission. I called the theater. No dice...

LESSON 2: Set Your Intentions and Act Like Your Hair's On Fire. I called my sister, Becky, and asked her to bring my big bag with the tix and meet us halfway. It was crazy. There was no way we'd get there before the theater closed its doors for the taping, but we went for it.

God bless Becky, she drives like a 5-Alarm Fire Chief even when there's no rush. She met us with the tix. I handed them to Joanne for good keeping and took off to make the hour-and-a-half drive with only an hour and ten minutes left 'til doors closed. Like good coaches, Joanne and I visualized walking through those theater doors with big smiles on our faces and handing our tickets to the ushers. And we made it. With fifteen minutes to spare! Career Coach, Joanne Waldman, PCC(Okay, there was some speeding involved.)

My friend, Career Coach, Joanne Waldman, PCC, in-line with a big smile on her face, just before walking through the front doors of the Peabody Opera House for Oprah's Lifeclass, feeling really relieved to be there on time (and in one piece). =====>

 

And you guessed it! Half the audience was carrying gigant-o handbags (see above pic) and nobody cared. So respect your limitations (mine is distractibility) and adjust the rules to fit you. And if you screw up (which you will), set strong intentions and act on them like your hair's on fire.

Life Coach, Julia Stewart, MCC

 

 

<===== Here's me in the lobby, just before the ushers threw us out, insisting we get to our seats. Yeah, we broke their rule to 'keep moving', so we could nab a couple of pics. After all, we were feeling pretty special for getting there faster than humanly possible.

 

 

 

LESSON 3: Take a Chance on the Unknown. I had the option to enter the lottery for 4 different Lifeclass tapings, each with a different guest. Two were Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins, heroes of mine. One for Iyanla Vanzant, who's great. And one for a guy I never heard of, Bishop T. D. Jakes. I really just wanted to see Oprah, so I took a chance on the new guy and he was absolutely awesome. I won't even try to tell you what he said; you have to SEE him. The show airs Monday, April 9th, 8ET/7CT. Bishop Jakes is all about Finding Your Purpose.

LESSON 4: You're Here for a Reason. That was the key message of the show. You're here at this show for a reason (Joanne and I knew that. We were MEANT to be there, so we had to get there on time). Your life has a purpose and Oprah and Jakes taught us how to find it. Adversity doesn't stop you from achieving your purpose. In fact, Jakes' metaphor for purpose and adversity is an archer: If you're the arrow, and your life is the bow, then the farther the archer (adversity) pulls the arrow (you) back, the farther and stronger you'll go to reach your purpose (Joanne and I had just proven that on the way to the show).

LESSON 5: Your life is a class. I was already familiar with most of the lessons they taught that day. After all, I've been a life-long personal development junkie. Oprah and Jakes just have an incredibly intense and wonderful way of teaching it all. They connect to the audience more profoundly and reach more people, as a result. They are more animated (that's why you have to SEE them). They're more entertaining. After all, they are masters of television. They are stars. But aren't you are star, also? Oprah thinks so.

LESSON 6: It's what happens off-the-record that really inspires. At the end of the show, as we were about to leave our seats, Oprah came back out, not for the television cameras, but just for us. She talked about how her purpose was to use television to help people have better lives. That she was always asking God to use her. And she had focused on how to use the Oprah show to serve her purpose, not have the show use her. And that's her big vision for OWN TV. That she has made mistakes with the network and was digging out of a hole (the papers say she just laid off 20% of her staff). She asked for our help to spread the word, so our culture has at least one television channel that uplifts, instead of just pandering to our lowest common interests.

It was her candidness and vulnerability that spoke most clearly. Here is the biggest star in the world (according to one poll), a profoundly spiritual being who just happens to be a billionaire in kickass diamond earrings. It seems like she has the Midas Touch, but even she can make mistakes...

Hmmm, could it be that adversity will help her arrow soar even farther and stronger?Oprah's Lifeclass Tour

Yep, that little speck center stage is Oprah, from my iPhone in row Z of the orchestra. That's okay, I saw her with my own eyes and heard her message with my own ears. =====>

LESSON 7: Be a Servant Star. Oprah's Lifeclass made me realize that I'd lost track of my purpose, so I can't use School of Coaching Mastery to reach it. I started the school to help carry out Thomas Leonard's purpose to improve coaching worldwide with IAC coach certification. He infected me with his vision ten years ago, but then he passed away, the IAC changed, its certification has changed, the ICF has also changed in some good ways. Now I'm mired in certification requirements...

School of Coaching Mastery has never really been about life coach certification. It's about the mastery coaches achieve on the way to coach certification. But what's the purpose of coaching mastery?

Coaching mastery is about helping people (coaching clients) learn the life lessons they need faster and more deeply, so they can create better lives and reach the highest, fullest expression of their beings. Period.

I've talked for years about the importance for coaches, of becoming Servant Entrepreneurs and I just had the honor of seeing the Ultimate Servant Entrepreneur.

Oprah is a Servant Star. Not because she's about being a star, it's because she's about revealing the star in you and asking you to use it to serve.

How inspiring is that?

In what ways might you already be a Servant Star? How do other Servant Stars light you up? How do you light people up? What do you need in order to use your life to serve your purpose? Do you know what your purpose is? How is adversity sending you even farther and stronger toward your purpose?

Are you ready to step up to Being a Star Who Serves? Please share your thoughts below...

Watch Oprah's Lifeclass Tour on Monday nights at 8PM ET/7PM CT. Watch two hours and call your life coach in the morning...

Topics: life coach, School of Coaching Mastery, become a coach, ICF, Thomas Leonard, Servant Entrepreneur, iPhone, OPRAH, life purpose, Cheryl Richardson, Tony Robbins, life coach certification, Julia Stewart, IAC, personal development

Coaching Your Great Self: A Whole New World of You

Posted by Julia Stewart

Great Self Coaching

What is the Great Self?

That's a great question...If you're a veteran of personal development programs or of some forms of spirituality, then you may have been introduced to the distinction of the Higher Self vs. the Ego. The terminology may have been different, but the basic idea is that the Higher Self is good (ex.: loving, spiritual, altruistic, etc.), while the Ego is bad (ex.: selfish, petty, destructive, etc.) Read A New Earth for one of the best descriptions of this dualistic view of human beings.

The Great Self concept takes this idea a step further from either/or to both/AND. The ego is an essential operating system for any healthy human being. It's there to protect you and look out for your interests. It only becomes a problem when our interests conflict with the interests of others. This tends to happen, because we are either unaware of the Higher Self or are rejecting the Ego.

Eliminating the Ego would be like removing the Windows, Mac, or Chrome operating system from your computer and expecting it to still work. In Great Self Coaching, we integrate the ego and all of its 'apps' with the Higher Self, which is enormously powerful. This is a HUGE upgrade, like going from 8 Gigs to 160. And it's a fun process!

How did Great Self Coaching come about?

Another awesome question. Great Self coaching is the culmination of decades of professional experience, helping people reach their dreams. I've synthesized and developed the work of hundreds of master teachers from fields like coaching, psychology, neuroscience, spirituality, personal development and more, such as Thomas Leonard, the Founder of the Coaching Profession, and Zen Master, Genpo Roshi, whose Big Mind process added the concepts of the Controller, Protector and Analyzer as gateways to the Great Self.

Great Self Coaching has been years in the making and you're invited to taste it for free in one of 3 group coaching sessions coming up:

Find out more about Great Self Coaching Here.

 

 

Image courtesy of Elan Sun Star.

Topics: Coaching, group coaching, ego, Thomas Leonard, Great Self Coaching, psychotherapy, Genpo Roshi, Big Mind Big Heart, Life Coaching, personal development, Eckhart Tolle

Coaching Client Engagements: Should They Be Short or Long?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching clientsThe following post concerning how long coaching client engagements should be is inspired by a conversation at School of Coaching Mastery's members-only Water Cooler Forum. A student wondered how to set up coaching client engagements.

The Question:

Should coaching client engagements be short (3 - 6 months) or long (1 year or longer)? And should coaching client engagements have a fixed length or should they be open ended?

Here are my views. I find the length of coaching engagement varies according to the business model, niche, and specialty of the coach, as well as the goals of the client.

 

The Short or Fixed-length Coaching Client Engagement:

    •    Shorter engagements of specific length are common to business, executive, career and corporate coaching, where the bottom line is always of high importance.
    •    Lengths usually are 3, 6 or 12 months. Almost never shorter than 3 months.
    •    The per-hour or per-month charge is generally much higher, $300+/hour; $500+ per month, or the charge may be for the entire period.
    •    If you use this business model, know that you must be prospecting for your next clients at all times.
    •    Benefit to the coach, other than the higher fee, is that you can sometimes contract to coach an entire team, department or company. In other words, it can be a very significant gig and you may need fewer gigs to support your business.
    •    Benefit to the company that hires you, is that the fees are fixed and predictable and ROI is easy to measure.


Long or Open-ended Coaching Client Engagements:

    •   Open-ended coaching agreements are common in life coaching and other forms of personal coaching, such as health, restorative, personal development, and spiritual coaching.
    •    Minimum lengths of client engagements are 3 months. Any less than that and the client is unlikely to experience a specific outcome and may not see the value of continuing. Also, the coach is likely to get stuck on a merri-go-round, constantly trying to attract enough clients, if they allow clients to sign up for one month or less.
    •    Keeping one's ego out of the coaching engagement is extremely important in open-ended client engagements and depends on on the coach's personal development and integrity. Also, having plenty of money in the bank can be  important for the coach. Otherwise, the coach may be tempted to stretch out the client engagement for the coach's financial benefit, rather than the client's personal development. Some coaches, especially those who are less well developed, assume that all coaches create dependancy in long-term coaching engagements, but that's not necessarily so.
    •    In a long-term coaching relationship, the coach needs to keep an eye out for what else the client may need to work on. Periodically invite the client to a new higher level of play when you sense they are ready for it. Some clients absolutely love this, because they want to grow as much as possible. Think: Empowerment vs. Dependence.
    •    Generally, coaches charge less for this type of coaching, $250 - 450/pr month or $100-200/hour.
    •    The benefit for the coach is greater client stability and less marketing, although annual income may be lower than for business coaches. Benefit for the client is greater personal growth and fulfillment.


My colleagues and I have all experimented with these business models. Commonly, what we find is that when we raise our fees to over $500/month, we have no trouble attracting clients, but coaching client engagements tend to be shorter.

In my coaching business, I offer three different types of coaching. My life coaching clients focus on personal development, shadows, values, attraction, etc. My fees are lower and engagements sometimes are for several years.

I also offer mentor coaching for coaches, which includes working toward certification, business development and personal development. Fees are a bit higher and engagements last 6 to 12 months.

Finally, I offer business coaching that focuses on inbound marketing for micro businesses. Fees are higher and engagements last from 3 to 6 months.

How do you model your coaching client engagements?

The Water Cooler Forum is one of the 'hidden benefits' of membership in School of Coaching Mastery's paid coach training programs. Get your questions answered by mentors and insiders:

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Topics: business coach, coaching business, life coach, coach training, coaching clients, make a living as a life coach, Mentor Coaching, personal development, personal coaching

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